‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ star Cobie Smulders keeps Marvel heroes grounded

With a genius in high-tech armor, a Norse god, a monster, a Russian super agent and a super-powered patriot, it’s …

With a genius in high-tech armor, a Norse god, a monster, a Russian super agent and a super-powered patriot, it’s people like Cobie Smulders’ Maria Hill who keeps these heroes grounded.

The former SHIELD agent is now working for Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, in a similar role in “Avengers: Age of Ultron.”

“Maria generally is always trying to keep everyone on track and give the team the intel they need to take down the bad guys,” said Smulders, who lives in Manhattan with her husband, “Saturday Night Live” star Taran Killam. “Now she unfortunately doesn’t have the Agents of SHIELD at her disposal, so she’s got to do a lot of that herself.

amNewYork spoke with Smulders, who also starred in “How I Met Your Mother.”

Had you heard of Ultron before this?

The good thing about these jobs is that if you need to figure things out, you can just go to your local comic book store and get a lot of books to do your research. And I did just that. What I knew about Ultron was he is one of the big bad guys, he’s like one of the biggest, baddest guys, and that’s kind of all I knew. … The interesting thing I learned when I was doing all my research is how many versions of him there were. It went up to like, “and now Ultron 16.”

Spader is great as Ultron. What was it like with him on set?

I did get to see James Spader perform as Ultron, which is brilliantly distracting. … He’s doing his dialogue off camera and we’re watching. He’s physically doing exactly what you see on screen. He’s pretending he’s a robot with a broken arm slowly making his way toward us, and he’s just doing this speech and I kept having to click off my Cobie Smulders brain. His voice is kind of hypnotizing and it’s almost like you’re watching him do a Shakespearean speech. You’re like, “Oh my god, this is incredible. I have the best seats in this house for this performance.” And then you’re like, “Wait, Maria Hill, he’s a robot, I have a gun in my garter belt, I’m gonna get that.”

While researching, were there other characters you want to see on screen?

I’m very excited to see Spider-Man in the mix. I’m very excited to see what they’re going to do with that. That’s going to be like really incredible. I’d like to see some more ladies. Ms. Marvel is probably going to come out. ?. The Wasp is coming with “Ant-Man.” It will just be cool to have more ladies on board.

Where do you want to see Maria go next?

On vacation. She needs it. I don’t know. I think she goes wherever this world goes. She’s trying to control all these rotating parts of this crazy world. I think she feels really strongly about keeping mankind safe. … I think she’s sort of following this world and trying to keep it under control.

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